CIEL Limited delivered a solid performance across its diversified portfolio in the nine months ended 31 March 2022.
In the nine months to 31 March 2022, CIEL achieved 51% revenue growth while delivering robust EBITDA margins and improved Free Cash Flows. Third quarter earnings confirm a solid year-to-date trajectory, notwithstanding the ongoing logistical and pandemic-related challenges in certain sectors as well as the indirect impacts from the Ukraine/Russia conflict on cost inflation. The strength of CIEL’s operations and healthy earnings can be attributed to the strong rebound across clusters leading to Group revenue increasing by MUR 6.9 bn to reach MUR 20.4 bn. This was driven by a commendable contribution from the Textile and Finance clusters as well as the Hotels & Resorts cluster, who were operational for only six out of the nine months.
The Group upheld its tight cost control and business optimisation measures, leading to a more than 100% increase in EBITDA to reach MUR 3.4 bn from a low of MUR 1.6 bn in the nine months to 31 March 2021, where the Hotels & Resorts cluster posted a loss of MUR 501M. The consequent EBITDA margin for the Group thus improved from 12.2% to 16.8%. Subsequently, the Group increased its profit after tax nearly three-fold to reach MUR 1.5 bn from a loss of MUR 768M in the prior period. Profit attributable to the owners of the parent reached MUR 868M compared to a loss of MUR 275M in the same period in 2021. The corresponding earnings per share was at MUR 0.51 (2021: (MUR 0.16)).
Commenting on these results, Jérôme de Chasteauneuf, Group Finance Director of CIEL Limited said: “CIEL has a positive outlook for its annual results ending June 2022 but remains cautious with respect to pandemic-related effects and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has resulted in cost inflation and logistics issues. The Group’s business model has, however, proven to be resilient, underpinned by geographical and product mix diversification and we expect to continually capture those opportunities that will consistently deliver strong financial returns to our shareholders.”
The apparel business increased revenues by MUR 3 bn, 38%, to reach MUR 11.0 bn for the nine months to 31 March 2022, largely due to the good performance from strong order books in the Woven and Knitwear segments. EBITDA for the nine months increased by 21% to MUR 978M, despite the impact of higher logistics and production costs. This led to a 26% increase in profit after tax of MUR 503M for the first nine months compared to MUR 399M in the same period in 2021.
The Finance cluster remains a key growth driver with revenue for the nine months reaching MUR 3.2 bn, a 20% increase on the prior year period. The continued good performance of BNI, in Madagascar, mainly explains this increase which has led to an EBITDA improvement of 18% to reach MUR 1.1 bn. After accounting for the much improved 50% share of results from Bank One, profit after tax for the nine months stood at MUR 577M, a 70% increase on the prior period and an 81% increase on the prior year’s comparative quarter.
The cluster posted an 11% revenue increase and a 56% EBITDA improvement on the prior nine-month period to reach MUR 2.7 bn and MUR 679M, respectively. This result was mainly driven by continued volumes in COVID-related treatments at C-Care. Notably, the Ugandan operations returned to profitability, and boosted by the sale of the Nigerian operations earlier in the year, the net profit after tax for the nine months grew by 57% to MUR 373M.
- Hotels & Resorts
The cluster had an encouraging nine-months with revenues growing ten-fold to reach MUR 3.4 bn despite the ongoing challenging operating environment. This result, coupled with the benefits from the recent cost and business restructuring successes, led to an increase in EBITDA to MUR 764M compared to a negative performance of MUR 501M on the prior year period. Profit after tax was MUR 9M for the first nine months from a loss of MUR 1.7 bn. It includes a significant improvement in the third quarter which saw an occupancy rate of 60.4%, leading to a profit after tax of MUR 118M, compared to a loss of MUR 647M in the prior year’s corresponding quarter.
During its first stage of development, the Property cluster continued to grow its business with new projects and teams, resulting in a loss of MUR 11 M, stable quarter on quarter and on the prior year period.
Alteo Group delivered strong results with revenue and EBITDA growing by 21% and 20% respectively, largely due to the enhanced performance from their sugar operations in all regions. Alteo Property’s improved financial performance was mainly driven by serviced land sales and villa-building progression at Anahita. For the period under review, CIEL’s share of profit attributable increased by MUR 50M to MUR 206M.